Chapter 16.44


16.44.010    Permit authorization.

16.44.020    Other permits may be required.

16.44.030    Right of entry – Indemnification.

16.44.040    Liability.

16.44.050    Responsibility of permittee – Protection of adjacent property.

16.44.060    Safety precautions.

16.44.070    Public facilities within public rights-of-way.

16.44.080    Responsibility of permittee – Protection of utilities.

16.44.090    Responsibility of permittee – Contents of permit.

16.44.100    Maintenance of protective devices.

16.44.110    Design responsibility.

16.44.120    Transfer of responsibility.

16.44.130    Contractor qualifications.

16.44.140    Time of grading and clearing operations.

16.44.010 Permit authorization.

The issuance of a permit shall constitute an authorization to do only that work which is described or illustrated on the application for the permit, or on the plans and specifications approved by the City Engineer, and the work shall be done in accordance with any conditions imposed by the City Engineer and in accordance with the requirements of this division. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.020 Other permits may be required.

Permits issued pursuant to this division shall not relieve the owner of responsibility for securing required permits for work to be done which is regulated by any other provision of this code or by any other person, body or agency. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.030 Right of entry – Indemnification.

As a condition of application for any permit, the owner of the site to be graded or cleared and the contractor, if any, shall thereby grant to the City or the City’s Contractor a right of entry on the site for the purposes of inspection and for purposes of correction of grading not performed in compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit. The owner and the contractor shall agree to indemnify the City for any claims or damages which may result from the City’s or City’s Contractor’s entry onto the property including any corrective action taken pursuant to such right of entry. (Ord. 655 § 3, 2007; Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.040 Liability.

A. Neither the issuance of a permit under the provisions of this division, nor the compliance with the provisions of this division or with any conditions imposed by any City official under this division, shall relieve any person from any responsibility for damage to persons or property otherwise imposed by law, nor impose any liability upon the City for damage to persons or property.

B. The City Engineer or any employee charged with the enforcement of this division, acting in good faith and without malice for the City in the discharge of his duties, shall not thereby render himself personally liable and is hereby relieved from all personal liability for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required, or by reason of any act or omission in the discharge of his duties. Any suit brought against the City Engineer or employee, because of such act or omission performed by them in the enforcement of any provisions of this division, shall be defended by the legal department of the City until final termination of the proceedings. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.050 Responsibility of permittee – Protection of adjacent property.

A. Notwithstanding the minimum standards set forth in this division, the permittee is responsible for the prevention of damage to adjacent property, and no person shall excavate on land so close to the property line as to endanger any adjoining public street, sidewalk, alley, or any other public or private property without supporting and protecting such property from settling, cracking or other damage which might result.

B. For all public watercourses, the applicant shall grant or cause to be granted, at the City Engineer’s discretion, to the City, a drainage easement in accordance with the requirements of the City Engineer prior to the issuance of the grading permit.

C. For all private watercourses, including brow ditches, where the continuous functioning of the drainage way is essential to the protection and use of multiple properties, a covenant, a maintenance agreement and/or deed restriction shall be recorded by the applicant, placing the responsibility for the maintenance of the drainage way(s) on the owners of record of each respective lot affected. Permanent off-site drainage or flowage easements, as required by the City Engineer, shall be acquired by the applicant. Such easements shall be subject to approval by the City Engineer and recorded prior to issuance of the grading permit.

D. No manmade dams, ponds, diversions, flow decelerators, or excessive vegetation shall be placed, allowed to be placed or allowed to grow within the property without suitable provisions, as approved by the City Engineer, for maintenance. Erosion or siltation as a result of these features shall be the sole responsibility of the property owner.

E. The permittee has the right to the proper discharge of natural drainage, within the provisions of this division, into natural drainage courses. In order to reduce pollutants and peak runoff from new development and redevelopment, the runoff shall be limited to the peak runoff of predevelopment conditions to the maximum extent practicable (as defined in Chapter 13.09 PMC) to the discretion of the City Engineer and as required by the City’s hydromodification management standards. Post-development runoff from the site shall not contain pollutant loads which cause or contribute to an exceedance of receiving water quality standards or which have not been reduced to the maximum extent practicable. (Ord. 775 § 5, 2015)

16.44.060 Safety precautions.

A. If, at any stage of work, the City Engineer determines that authorized grading is likely to endanger any public or private property, result in the deposition of debris on any public way, or interfere with any existing drainage course, the City Engineer may specify and require reasonable safety precautions to avoid the danger. The permittee may be responsible for removing excess soil and debris deposited upon adjacent and downstream public or private property resulting from his grading operations. Soil and debris shall be removed and damage to adjacent and downstream property repaired as directed by the City Engineer. Erosion and siltation control may require temporary or permanent siltation basins, energy dissipaters or other measures as field conditions warrant, whether or not such measures are a part of approved plans. Cost associated with any work outlined in this section shall be incurred by the permittee.

No off-site work will be required when, in the opinion of the City Engineer, the permittee has properly implemented and maintained erosion control measures in accordance with the City’s BMP Manual and the deposition of soil and debris or erosion on adjacent properties is the direct or indirect result of actions of the downstream property owner.

B. During grading operations, the contractor and property owner shall take all necessary measures to eliminate any hazard, resulting from the work, to the public in its normal use of public property or right-of-way. Any fences or barricades installed shall be approved by the City Engineer and shall be properly constructed and maintained. They shall separate the public from the hazard as long as the hazard exists.

C. Maximum Disturbed Area. Cleared or graded areas left exposed at any given time are limited to the amount of acreage that the project proponent can adequately protect prior to a predicted storm event or 17 acres, whichever is smaller, unless the disturbance of a larger area is approved in writing by the City Engineer. In the event that a project proponent requests approval to disturb an area greater than 17 acres, the project proponent shall first submit to the City Engineer written documentation describing how it will ensure that it reduces discharges of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable (as defined in Chapter 13.09 PMC) and prevents discharges of pollutants that would cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards despite the larger disturbed area. (Ord. 775 § 6, 2015)

16.44.070 Public facilities within public rights-of-way.

The following provisions of this section shall apply unless provision is made by a secured agreement pursuant to land development work done in conjunction with the subdivision of land as set forth in Division 1 of this title:

A. A property owner shall pay the City for all costs of placing, repairing, replacing or maintaining a City-owned facility within a public right-of-way when the City’s facility has been damaged or has failed as a result of the construction or existence of the owner’s land development work during the progress of such work;

B. The costs of placing, replacing or maintaining the City-owned facility shall include the cost of obtaining an alternate easement if necessary;

C. The City Engineer shall notify the property owner of such damage or failure as set forth in the above provisions. The City may withhold permits or certification of the completion of a building or other permitted work where a notice has been issued. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.080 Responsibility of permittee – Protection of utilities.

A. During grading operations, the permittee shall be responsible for the prevention of damage to public utilities or services and for confining grading activities to the area permitted on the approved plans. This responsibility applies within the limits of grading or clearing and along any routes of travel of equipment.

B. Before starting any excavation work, the permittee shall be responsible to contact Underground Service Alert, Inc., and coordinate the proposed excavation with all interested utility companies, districts and agencies. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.090 Responsibility of permittee – Contents of permit.

It shall be the responsibility of the permittee to be knowledgeable of the conditions and/or restrictions placed on the permit and as outlined in applicable sections of this code, and as contained on the approved plans and in the approved geotechnical report(s). The permittee shall also be responsible to maintain, in an obvious and accessible location on the site, a copy of the permit and approved plans bearing the approval of the City Engineer. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.100 Maintenance of protective devices.

The owner of the property on which a fill or excavation has been made pursuant to a permit granted under the provisions of this division, or any other person or agent in control of such property, shall maintain in good condition and repair all retaining walls, cribbing, drainage structures and other protective devices and planting shown in the approved plans and specifications or in the record drawings or required by the permit. Facilities dedicated for use by the public and accepted for such use by a public agency are excepted. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.110 Design responsibility.

A. 1. It shall be the responsibility of the Engineer of Work who prepared the grading plans to incorporate the applicable recommendations from the Soils Engineer and engineering geology reports into the grading plan. The Engineer of Work shall be responsible for establishing line and grade for the grading and drainage improvements and to establish limits of clearing and shall act as the coordinating agent in the event the need arises for liaison between the other professionals, the contractor and the City Engineer. The Engineer of Work shall inspect the project at various stages of work to ensure that the work is being carried out in strict conformance with the approved plans. The Engineer of Work shall also be responsible for the preparation of plan revisions and, upon the completion of rough grading, the submittal of a certification of line and grade attesting to the completion of work in precise conformance with the approved plans. For exceptions exceeding the tolerances of precise conformance, three sets of red-lined changes must be submitted to and approved by the City Engineer prior to submittal for rough grade approval. In the case of administrative clearing permits, the Engineer of Work will certify to the City Engineer that the area cleared is in precise conformance with the approved plans.

2. Upon completion of the work, the Engineer of Work shall submit record drawings incorporating all changes and/or additions made during construction. These record drawings shall be based on detailed field observations by the Engineer of Work both during and after completion of the grading. They shall include horizontal and vertical locations of all subdrains, fill key locations, buttresses, areas and depths of removal of unsuitable material, and daylight lines. Subsequent subsurface investigations may be required if necessary to verify locations of subsurface features.

B. 1. Soils engineering and engineering geology reports shall be required as specified in this code. During grading, all necessary reports, compaction data, soils engineering and engineering geology recommendations and reports shall be submitted to the client for distribution as required, and a copy of all said documents shall be provided to the City Engineer.

2. The soils engineer’s area of responsibility shall include, but not be limited to, the professional inspection and approval concerning the preparation of ground to receive fills, the observation of all fills placed, testing for required compaction, stability of all finish slopes, design of buttress fills where required, and incorporating data supplied by the engineering geologist. The soils engineer shall provide a final soils report including compaction test results to the City Engineer prior to rough grade approval.

3. The engineering geologist’s area of responsibility shall include, but not be limited to, professional inspection and approval of the stability of cut slopes with respect to geological matters, and the need for subdrains or other groundwater drainage devices. He shall report his findings to the soils engineer for engineering analysis.

C. The City Engineer or his representative shall inspect the project at various stages of work requiring approval and at any more frequent intervals necessary to determine that adequate inspection and testing is being exercised by the professional consultants. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.120 Transfer of responsibility.

A. If the civil engineer, engineer of work, the soils engineer, the engineering geologist, or the grading contractor of record are changed during the course of the work, the work shall be stopped until:

1. The owner or agent submits a letter of notification verifying the change of the responsible professional; and

2. The new responsible professional submits in writing that he has reviewed all prior reports and/or plans (specified by date and title) and work performed by the responsible professional party, and that he concurs with the findings, conclusions and recommendations, and is satisfied with the work performed. He must state that he assumes all responsibility within his purview as of a specified date. All exceptions must be justified to the satisfaction of the City Engineer.

B. Where clearly indicated that the firm, not the individual engineer and/or geologist, is the contracting party, the designated engineer or geologist may be reassigned and another engineer and/or geologist within the firm may assume responsibility. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.130 Contractor qualifications.

A. Every person doing land development shall meet such qualifications as may be determined by the City Engineer to be necessary to protect the public interest. The City Engineer may require an application for qualification which shall contain all information necessary to determine the person’s qualifications to do the land development.

B. All land development work shall be performed by a contractor licensed by the State to perform the types of work required by the permit. (Ord. 345, 1991)

16.44.140 Time of grading and clearing operations.

Grading, clearing, and equipment operations being conducted in association with a valid grading permit shall be conducted only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, and at no time on weekends or holidays, without written approval of the City Engineer. The City Engineer may, however, permit grading, clearing, or equipment operations during specific hours before 7:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, or on weekends or holidays if he or she determines that such operations are not detrimental to the health, safety or welfare of the inhabitants of such a structure. Permitted hours of operations may be shortened by the City Engineer’s finding of a previously unforeseen effect on the health, safety or welfare of the surrounding community.

For purposes of this section, “holiday” shall mean January 1st, known as “New Year’s Day”; the third Monday in January, known as “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day”; the third Monday in February, known as “Washington’s Birthday”; March 31st, known as “Cesar Chavez Day”; the last Monday in May, known as “Memorial Day”; the fourth day of July, known as “Independence Day”; the first Monday in September, known as “Labor Day”; the eleventh day in November, known as “Veterans Day”; the last Thursday in November, known as “Thanksgiving Day”; the day after “Thanksgiving Day”; and December 25th, known as “Christmas Day.” In the event “New Year’s Day,” “Cesar Chavez Day,” “Independence Day” or “Christmas Day” falls on Sunday, the following day will be deemed a holiday, and if they fall on Saturday, the Friday preceding will be deemed a holiday. (Ord. 646 § 5, 2006; Ord. 345, 1991)